Science has confirmed it. The new fad diet is here!
One second…I have to take care of this craving.
Hi everyone, Dr. Becky here with great news from the world of science, as it turns out you can cut your food cravings by 24% with just 3 minutes of playing a video game.
Researchers, published in the journal Appetite, were looking at the validity of the Elaborated Intrusion Theory that hypothesizes that it’s the pictures that we conjure up in our brains about the sweet, creamy, melt in your mouth…
Ummm, it’s the pictures of the craved food that we create that make us want to eat them.
So the researchers figured that by distracting the brain with a visual game, like Tetris, for a few minutes participants should be able to get past their cravings.
Participants waited for a craving to strike and when it did they rated that craving on how strong it was, how vivid the image was and how much it was taking over their life.
They then sat down in front of a computer screen, loaded up a game of Tetris and played for three minutes. That is unless they were one of the unsuspecting guinea pigs placed into the control group.
Those participants also sat down in front of a computer screen, but their game of Tetris refused to load.
After three minutes those that actually got to play the game of Tetris reported significantly lower food cravings; 24% lower than those that were in the control group.
One of the study’s authors, noted that “Episodes of craving usually only last a few minutes” so it seems pretty reasonable that a few minutes of distracting yourself could get you past the craving and avoid all those unnecessary calories.
Sweet deal, or not sweet, whichever way you want to look at that.
So if you want to test this distraction diet theory for yourself, the next time you feel a craving hit pick up a video game, set the timer for three minutes, and see how you feel.
Although I would avoid playing candy crunch.
Thanks for joining me for Dr. Becky Fitness reports. Do you think distracting yourself can help you stick with a diet? If so, let me know in the comments below. Click Subscribe. And, I’ll see you next time.
Playing Tetris has potential to help beat negative cravings, study suggests: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=40629
Of course, cravings do return and in an unrelated research review lead author, Jebb, show there is clear evidence that low levels of physical activity are associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
Making the moral of this story that video games should be used as a diet distraction, not as a lifestyle.